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MTAM Research Committee Language Survey

The Canadian Massage Therapist Association “works co-cooperatively to promote massage therapy as a component of the Canadian health care system, and to ensure the highest standards in providing massage therapy to the public” (CMTA, 2016). They have identified “evidence-informed decision making” as an important part of massage therapy practice. As a member of the CMTA, MTAM is dedicated to this aspect of professional development.

MTAM’s research committee is looking into language use in the treatment room, to see if it is reflective of current research and supports evidence-informed practice. We would like to hear from you.

We want to know if/how often you are explaining the benefits of massage therapy to your clients, and whether or not, you are confident the explanations you provide are evidence-informed.

This survey will help us identify what common terms, phrases, or concepts are used by RMTs when discussing the benefits of massage therapy with their clients, and assess if they reflect current research.

We ask that you read the definitions provided below, and complete the short survey. All responses are anonymous, and the results of this survey will be used by the research committee for a presentation in May 2023.


Massage therapy is manual manipulation of soft body tissues (muscle, connective tissue, tendons and ligaments) to enhance a person's health and well-being. There are dozens of types of massage therapy methods (also called modalities)” (Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba, 2023).

Swedish massage is a common modality used by Registered Massage Therapists. “Swedish massage techniques include effleurage (long, gliding strokes), petrissage (lifting and kneading the muscles), friction (firm, deep, circular rubbing movements), tapotement (brisk tapping or percussive movements), and vibration (rapidly shaking or vibrating specific muscles)” (Alves da Silva, Schujmann,, 2017). These techniques may also be combined with “rocking, shaking and passive range of motion” during a Swedish massage (Massage Therapy Canada, 2023).

Evidence-informed massage therapy (EIMT) “involves integrating the best available research evidence into the decision-making process” (Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance, 2016). EIMT considers:

  • specific client circumstances and context (subjective and objective assessment)
  • the client’s preferences and values (preference for type of touch, pressure, treatment goals etc)
  • therapist knowledge and experience (previous successes or challenges in treatment)
  • the best available research evidence about the benefits/contraindications for different massage modalities

“Evidence integrated into massage therapy practice uses research findings from a variety of manual therapy and rehabilitation disciplines” (CMTA, 2016) and requires the massage therapist to continuously gather new information. So, when massage therapists encounter a specific situation, they can draw on this information and apply it in practice.

Evidence-informed “massage therapists are able to interpret new information” (CMTA, 2016) and, when it is needed, are also able to provide a brief explanation, in simple terms, to their clients that is reflective of the best available research.

COMPLETE THE RESEARCH LANGUAGE SURVEY (Survey link to be posted shortly).

Resource List
Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba (2023). What is Massage Therapy. MTAM. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from

Alves da Silva, T., Stripari Schujmann, D., Yamada da Silveira, L. T., Caromano, F. A., & Fu, C. (2017). Effect of therapeutic Swedish massage on anxiety level and vital signs of Intensive Care Unit patients. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 21(3), 565–568.   

Rattray, F. (2009, September 25). Defining Massage Therapy. Retrieved January 31, 2023, from

Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance (2016). Massage Therapy in Canada [Presentation, Canadian Massage Therapist Alliance].

MTAM Research Award

The MTAM Research Award is a $1000.00 award presented to an individual pursuing research that will have a direct benefit to the field of massage therapy. 

The MTAM Research Committee is pleased to announce 
Sarah Buhunicky B.Kin. MSc. CAT(C)  and Trisha Scribbans PhD, CAT (C)

as the recipients of the 2022 MTAM Research Award.
for their project ~ Myofascial release of the pectoral fascia: Effect on shoulder posture, pectoral length, muscle activity, and movement performance.

Click to Read Full Announcement

Deadline for applications for 2023 is March 31, 2023. Applications may be sent to the MTAM Executive DirectorClick here to view the Award requirements and considerations.

MTAM Research Events now available by webinar!

Register for research events on the Coming Events page. 

Past events can be viewed in the Member Portal under MTAM Event Recordings.

MTAM 8th Annual Research Symposium
November 5, 2023  ~ Details will be announced as they become available.

What is a Journal Club and how does it work?

journal club is a group of individuals who meet to critically evaluate articles in academic literature. MTAM Journal clubs are usually organized around a defined subject in basic or applied research. For example, past journal club topics have been related to myofascial release, mental health conditions and low back in relation to manual therapy.

Typically, each participant reads the article in advance. Don't worry if you're not able to understand the whole article the first time through ~ Members of the MTAM Research Committee present information from the article in an easy to understand format and facilitate a discussion to help participants better understand the contents of the article and relevance to a massage therapy practice. 

Participants can voice their view relating to several questions such as the appropriateness of the research design, the statistics employed, the appropriateness of the controls that were used, etc. There might be an attempt to synthesize together the results of several papers, even if some of these results might first appear to contradict each other. Even if the results of the study are seen as valid, there might be a discussion of how useful the results are and if these results might lead to new research or to new applications.

See you at the next Journal Club!

Do you have an interest in massage therapy research? The MTAM Research Committee wants you!

The Research Committee meets on the 3rd Wednesday of each month (except August and December) from 9:30-11:30 AM in the MTAM Education Centre.
The commitee's activities include:
  • Provide education, inspiration, and guidance to all MTAM members and massage therapy students who wish to engage with and understand research relating to the profession of Massage Therapy.
  • Identify and review relevant Massage Therapy research and other projects and share research information with MTAM members and the public through the MTAM website, e-newsletter and/or other communication methods.
  • Network/liaise with credible research organizations focused on Massage Therapy and related health topics.
  • Advocate for research that would provide Massage Therapists with an evidence base to support best practices.
  • Facilitate the participation of MTAM members and massage therapy students in Massage Therapy research studies conducted by credible research organizations.
  • Fund research projects relevant to the massage therapy profession as budget permits.
  • With the Education & Continuing Competency Committee, monitor and maintain the MTAM Resource Centre for member access.
Joining an MTAM committee gives members an opportunity to get involved in the direction of the massage therapy profession in Manitoba. It allows you to connect with colleagues in MTAM and across Canada. Committee members also receive core competency education credits for regular meeting attendance!
Contact the MTAM if you would like to get involved.

Research Job Opportunities

If you have a research job to post, please contact the MTAM office.

Research Resources

 This website, created by the MTAM, is an interactive site for the public that also lists the related evidence-based research relating to how Massage Therapy can help patients.

2018 - Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba Announces Expansion of the popular website
Popular massage therapy information website redesigned to offer visitors more options for exploration and now in both of Canada’s official languages to meet the growing use by people from across the country.
Read the full press release here.

Massage Therapy Publications and Research Journals

International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork

Massage Therapy Foundation

Massage Therapy Canada

Massage Therapy Journal

Massage Therapy Magazine


Research Grants

Government of Canada

Government of Manitoba

University of Manitoba

Massage Therapy Foundation

College of Massage Therapy of Ontario

Registered Massage Therapist Association of British Columbia

Massage Therapy Research Websites

Fascia Research Congress

New Zealand Massage Therapy Research Centre